In an interview with the newspaper Bild, General Riho Terras, Commander of the Estonian Defense Forces said that he believes that Russia modeled war with NATO during the Zapad 2017 exercises.
"I’ll be blunt: during the Zapad 2017 exercises, Russia simulated a full-scale military attack against NATO. It was not directed only against the Baltic states, as the theater of exercises stretched from the North to the Black Sea. The scale and the area of maneuvers were much larger than officially declared," he said.
In December 2017, Bild, citing sources in NATO, published an article stating that the main scenario of the Russian Zapad 2017 exercise was not an anti-terrorist fight or state defense, but the seizure of the Baltic States in a few days and a "shock campaign" against countries of Western Europe: Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Norway, Sweden and Finland.
The Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine, Oleksandr Turchynov, stated that Russia had worked out a standard nuclear-missile strike involving all the components of the nuclear triad (aviation, missiles, and submarine missile carriers) within the framework of the Zapad 2017 exercises.
The Zapad 2017 strategic exercises were held by the armed forces of Russia and Belarus in September.